Sunday, March 8, 2015

Collet Chuck

I recently bought a new woodturning toy, an Apprentice collet chuck. I like it for holding smaller items with a small tenon like angel ornaments and finials. It uses ER 32 Collets. Some of the advantages include a strong hold from 100% gripping surface and no draw bar required.
There are other woodturning collet systems out there. Why did  I choose the Apprentice? I did some research on this as well as the Beall Collet system. Penn State has one but is not available in the 1 1/4” size to fit my PM. The Beall has a smooth faced collet chuck that must be tightened with a special wrench. This one is a little less expensive than the Beall and for some projects, can be hand tightened although the wrench is available and may be need some time. It also comes with a 1” x 8 insert so I can use it on a mini lathe. You can see the full YouTube video I did on the chuck.

I used it recently at the Atlanta Wood Show for demonstrating turning angel ornaments and tops. The more I use it the more I like it.  When I was packing to leave, I noticed when I unscrewed the collet chuck from the lathe that the 1"x8 insert was still on the lathe. I forgot to bring a wrench and was looking for a way to unthread it. Mike Guyre came up with an innovative wrench. He used a chuck with spigot jaws tightened to fit the outside of the insert as a wrench and off it came!

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